Omokoroa Real Estate: Area Guide
by Mike Wade
Community minded and surrounded by harbour scenery
The peninsula township of Omokoroa is one of Tauranga North’s fastest growing communities with lots to offer. Only 15 a minute drive from Bethlehem township and 20 minutes from the CBD, this traditional retirement area is changing quickly and that includes demographics.
You can live out here and enjoy a semi-rural, or small township lifestyle, while still having all the essential conveniences close at hand.
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In 2015 the real estate market in Omokoroa really started to move with pressure from not only the Auckland market but other areas of NZ as buyers came to realise what a great lifestyle Omokoroa had on offer. During 2016 and 2017 several hundred sections came on line and many new houses were built in Omokoroa. As the area gained in recognition and favour there were increasingly strong sales across the more traditional area of established housing with the purchase and renovation of older homes taking place, especially where properties offered the great views that Omokoroa is known for.
With a traditional slant to the retiree market, this has now changed with a steady mix of young couples with families, professionals and semi-retirees locating into the area.
As the area north of the railway line infills with new housing and a mix of subdivisions, there are three large housing estates in process for development south of the railway line and back toward the main SH2.This will include the land being developed by the WBOPDC and Classic Homes which is zoned to include affordable housing. There will also be provision for commercial development to include a new town centre South towards and including the Proles Road area, along with a light industrial estate closer to the main road.
Further detail on the 10-year growth strategy plan can be viewed on the WBOPDC website.
The Auckland market boom from 2015 to early 2017, which flowed on to the Tauranga market and in particular Omokoroa, caused substantial price growth in the region, but this has now cooled considerably. The number of people relocating from Auckland has declined. The slow-down of house sales in Auckland has reflected in slower sales in Tauranga, including Omokoroa. This shift has been in part due to restrictions on overseas buyers, capital gains tax and bank lending now requiring higher equity ratios. With the increase in prices in Tauranga some Auckland buyers are also looking to relocate to other regional areas where good capital gains are still to be found, especially retirees who are not dependent on job availability.
What can you buy in Omokoroa?
Firstly new housing…
Much of the new housing both in progress and recently finished was as a result of buyers forward purchasing house and land packages from building companies and sections on sale during the past market boom. Some of these are homes are now reselling and are typically priced in the mid $700 to mid $800,000. There is an abundance of stock available within this price break and these near new homes with established gardens make an excellent choice for buyers who are not comfortable with going through the new building process themselves.
However, for those wanting a brand new build with all their own choices of specifications, the option of buying a bare section, designing a home to suit personal needs and then building, is still a good financial decision as long as budgets can be met. Preferably for buyer safety, not only should the cost of the build be clear with a fixed price, detailed and itemised quotation being tabled by the building company but land or section development costs, retaining and earthworks along with building consents should be tabled pricewise before buyer acceptance of the chosen builder’s contract. Builder’s guarantees and insurance during the build should be thoroughly investigated and an all up cost – “turn key” should be sought by the customer.
There are a number of large reliable building companies in the market who offer an excellent choice of house designs, or for those wanting a custom build there are competent small local builders offering quality cost competitive builds. Many section options as we speak are plentiful as there are a number of major subdivisions coming on stream with pricing ranging from $270,000 for a smaller first entry section with no views, through to medium and larger sections with views reaching from the high $300,000’s to the $500,000’s and over.
What is available in the way of mature established housing?
There are still homes being offered in the older party of the “Point” in the high $600’s to $800’s. Some of this stock requires renovation or modernisation. There are also more expensive homes on offer in the mature part of the “Point” ranging from the high $900’s through to the $1m plus for homes with paramount views.
Further, in the newer areas of Lynley Park and parts of Links view drive and surrounds there are good choices of executive homes offering quality views, fetching prices in the $1m plus range.
The current market in Omokoroa is a buyer’s market due to the small number of cash buyers that are around. After the high prices that were achieved in 2015 and 2016 when buyers were abundant, the problem we now have is vendor high price expectation that relates to the higher market prices that were achieved back in the boom.
We also have buyers who now understand that prices have peaked and they are wanting to be able to negotiate more strongly. In this market there needs to be recognition of this change.
Every property needs to be looked on its own merits as buyers will be slower and discerning in their buying decisions. Sellers need to be aware of this and be realistic in discussion with their real estate sales people as to where their property needs to be pitched to sell.
If people really do wish to move on it is good to remember that as long as they sell and buy on the same market then they are dealing on a level playing field and will not be price disadvantaged.
So when you do decide to sell, the next question is, what is the best way to market? Sales people at Claridges are great believers in pricing homes either with a “fixed” price, or a “Buyer enquiry over” a certain price. This gives buyers a clear message about the vendor’s price expectation and gives buyers confidence
that they are looking at property that is within their buying budget.
With luxury or unique properties “Auction” can still be an option to bring buyers the table by a date and give sellers some time frame certainty. However, remember if you don’t have good numbers of registered buyer interest on the day then this may not work. The number of auctions being held in Omokoroa currently is limited, but auction rates in the Tauranga region in general are running at less than 45%.
Claridges advice for selling in this market is simple:
1/ Our company considers that it is preferable to advertise a price for your property when listing, rather than doing an Auction, Price by Negotiation, Tender or Price on Application. We believe the buying public are more responsive when a property has a price attached when advertised. This may not be applicable for certain properties and your Claridges sales person will help you understand the best method of selling and design the best strategy approach for selling your home once they have viewed and given you a market appraisal.
2/ Prior to marketing it goes without saying that presentation is everything. It is very important to de-clutter… you’re going to have to pack everything up when you sell anyway. Ask us for a recommendation for small improvements that could help sell your house for more. We sell houses every day and we know what small changes can be made to make large improvements to a vendor’s presentation of their home in readiness for sale.
3/ We believe a professional photoshoot is absolutely essential to the marketing of your home. Claridges would recommend a number of websites to load these professional photos onto eg: realestate.co.nz, Trademe property, Open2view and our own Claridges website. This maximises your potential audience as statistics show the majority of buyers use the internet when initially looking for houses and property. This will give the many website browsers a clear picture of your home and is great for eliminating buyers who are not suited to your property, before they ring for personal viewing.
We also use the professional photos for reproduction in newsprint advertising as well as the production of flyers and window brochures in the four BOP Claridges office windows (Mount Maunganui, Bethlehem, Omokoroa, Katikati) as well as for mail drops, open homes etc.
As market conditions move and change ( real estate follows well recognised cycles) it becomes very important to listen to your sales persons advice on how best to approach the current market. Pricing correctly to maximise your best return is paramount to the vendor and that is your salesperson’s job … to sell your house for the best price the market will pay!
The following graph shows the change in sales volumes between the “boom” period in 2015 to current. The increase in section sales from 2015 to current reflects the significant increase in numbers of sections that have come on stream from the large number of titles released in new subdivisions, particularly in Omokoroa.
The “Point” has great services on offer such as doctors, dentists, physios and other types of medical practitioners along with a vet, pharmacy, boat club restaurant and bar, coffee shops, Fresh Choice supermarket, liquor store, and garage. There is ‘The Centre’, an Op Shop and Meeting Place, run by the community for the community, with profits going into local Organisations and Groups. We have a great little library.
Omokoroa has a primary school, several preschools and an excellent bus service to High schools across Tauranga to Katikati.
Surrounded by water on two sides the peninsula has an 18 hole Golf Course, a boat ramp and a well supported Boat Club, along with a Bowling Club, sports fields and skate park for the kids plus tennis courts and miles of lovely walks for those wanting an outdoor lifestyle. A new boardwalk and cycle track linking Omokoroa to Tauranga is now under construction.
People who live here say they love the relaxed and friendly community feel. A couple remarked to us recently that children will greet them, as they pass, which never happened when they lived in a big city.
Water activities are endless. An all tide ramp makes boating access easy and there are moorings available for yachts and launches. The sheltered waters are perfect for sailing, kayaking, jet-skiing, windsurfing and more. The beaches are safe and the mid-summer fishing is great!
Omokoroa beach community is welcoming, friendly and a very enjoyable lifestyle is on offer here for all types or people and age groups.